Not many people are fortunate enough to have their dream come true in their lifetime. Well mine did, and I don’t want to wake up. The cloud I’m on is gently descending back down to earth, while I cling to every little detail in my beautifully cluttered mind. After having waited all day for the clock to strike game time, as any self respecting Chicago Bulls fan would, I wore my pride, dressed in my vintage Jordan fanimation chalk line jacket and headed down to the Promised Land, in this case, the Verizon center in downtown DC for the long awaited Bulls vs Wizards matchup.
Stepping on the bleachers, making my way down to my seats, mixed feelings started rushing inside me. A combination of bewilderment and serenity, a blend between the novelty of something undiscovered and the familiarity of a place that made me feel like I always belonged. It felt like home. I was both amazed and instantly accustomed to this wonderland. The newly found rivalry between these two teams only promised a better matchup, a fierce battle; thrilling!
And then, in the midst of a cheering crowd, the whistle blows, tip-off! The ball starts moving, the players start running, points are adding up, shots are falling, and I find myself in the heart of the action. Being bundled up on my couch back in Lebanon where my dream of one day actually watching a game at a decent hour in an NBA arena seemed far far away is now nothing but a distant memory of a time when a dream was still just a dream. But my reverie was now my reality, playing out before my eyes and not on my TV screen.
As the game went on, the Bulls started losing their magic to the Wizards, they had no tricks up their sleeve to stop Nene, who was the crucial role player in last year’s Wizards’ playoff series win over Chicago. But the spell was cast and nothing could put me off. I was soaking it all in, the good, the bad and the worse. And worse it became as the Bulls were outplayed in every aspect of the game, falling to fourth in the Eastern conference standings, toppled by Washington in a back to back loss.
They had found the right ingredients to their magic potion, and as the crowd was roaring with excitement at every dunk, every possession, every circus shot, I felt more and more isolated, holding out hope that a Bulls’ run was around the corner and that we would get out of this fight on top. The run never came; but I was still enchanted by my experience.
It was a failed game for the Bulls but a successful show for me. All I can hope is to see you soon in the Windy City!
– Joy Azzi